Growing Places’ mission is to inspire and connect the North Central MA community to create equitable access to healthy food and environmental sustainability through education, collaboration, and advocacy.
In 2001, Harvard, Massachusetts, residents Kate Deyst and Cindy Buhner heard the story of Dan Barker and were inspired to launch the Growing Places Garden Project. Dan Barker, founder of the Home Gardening Project Foundation, began donating raised-bed vegetable gardens to people in need in the Portland, Oregon area in 1984. Kate and Cindy believed they could bring the power of gardening to communities in Central Massachusetts. In their first season, they built five gardens, using their own tools and hard work. Since that modest beginning, Growing Places has created more than 450 gardens and provided technical support to more than 1,500 low-income people in North Central Massachusetts. Organizationally, GP has successfully matured beyond its founding board and unpaid volunteer staff. We are led by a dynamic, community-based board of directors. Today the organization is supported by a professional staff and hundreds of dedicated volunteers.